At-will employment

employment at willat willat-will employeeat-willAt will employmentat-will employeesat-will employersdismissed without causeemployment itselfemployment to be "at will
At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning, as long as the reason is not illegal (e.g. firing because of the employee's race or religion).wikipedia
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Dismissal (employment)

releasefiredsacked
At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning, as long as the reason is not illegal (e.g. firing because of the employee's race or religion).
Most US states have adopted the at-will employment contract that allows the employer to dismiss employees without having to provide a justified reason for firing, although the variety of court cases that have come out of "at-will" dismissals have made such at-will contracts ambiguous.

Termination of employment

firedterminatedtermination
At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning, as long as the reason is not illegal (e.g. firing because of the employee's race or religion).
In an economy based on at-will employment, such as that of the United States, a large proportion of workers may be laid off at some time in their life, and often for reasons unrelated to performance or ethics.

California Courts of Appeal

California Court of AppealCalifornia Court of AppealsCourt of Appeal
In 1959, the first judicial exception to the at-will rule was created by one of the California Courts of Appeal.
Many Court of Appeal opinions have become nationally prominent in their own right, such as the 1959 opinion that carved out the first judge-made exception to the at-will employment doctrine, the 1980 opinion that authorized a cause of action for wrongful life, and the 1984 opinion that created the right to Cumis counsel.

United States labor law

US labor lawlabor lawU.S. labor law
At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning, as long as the reason is not illegal (e.g. firing because of the employee's race or religion).
Some state and federal laws presume workers who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement or an individual employment agreement have "at-will employment".

Virginia

Commonwealth of VirginiaVAState of Virginia
Virginia is an employment-at-will state; its economy has diverse sources of income, including local and federal government, military, farming and business.

Wrongful dismissal

wrongful terminationwrongfully terminateddismiss them for illegal reasons
Although all U.S. states have a number of statutory protections for employees, most wrongful termination suits brought under statutory causes of action use the federal anti-discrimination statutes which prohibit firing or refusing to hire an employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap status.
In all U.S. states except Montana, workers are considered by default to be at-will employees, meaning that they may be fired at any time without cause.

Bammert v. Don's Super Valu, Inc.

The employee sued for wrongful discharge, alleging that the dismissal was retaliatory and invoking the public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine.

Just cause

for cause
At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning, as long as the reason is not illegal (e.g. firing because of the employee's race or religion).

Inequality of bargaining power

unequal bargaining powerbargaining powerlack bargaining power
The practice is seen as unjust by those who view the employment relationship as characterized by inequality of bargaining power.

Common law

common-lawcourts of common lawcommon
At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most U.S. states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Employment contract

contract of employmentcontractemployment contracts
At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most U.S. states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme CourtSupreme Court
At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most U.S. states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Lochner era

Lochner'' eraLochnerismthe years following Lochner
At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most U.S. states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Labour economics

laborlabor economicslabor market
At-will employment gradually became the default rule under the common law of the employment contract in most U.S. states during the late 19th century, and was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Lochner era, when members of the U.S. judiciary consciously sought to prevent government regulation of labor markets.

Trade union

uniontrade unionistlabor union
In workplaces with a trade union recognized for purposes of collective bargaining, and in many public sector jobs, the normal standard for dismissal is that the employer must have a "just cause."

Collective bargaining

collectively bargaincollective bargaining agreementbargain collectively
In workplaces with a trade union recognized for purposes of collective bargaining, and in many public sector jobs, the normal standard for dismissal is that the employer must have a "just cause."

Public sector

publicpublic-sectorpublic employee
In workplaces with a trade union recognized for purposes of collective bargaining, and in many public sector jobs, the normal standard for dismissal is that the employer must have a "just cause."

Discrimination

discriminatoryanti-discriminationdiscriminate
Otherwise, subject to statutory rights (particularly the discrimination prohibitions under the Civil Rights Act), most states adhere to the general principle that employer and employee may contract for the dismissal protection they choose.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights ActTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title VII
Otherwise, subject to statutory rights (particularly the discrimination prohibitions under the Civil Rights Act), most states adhere to the general principle that employer and employee may contract for the dismissal protection they choose.

Law and economics

economic analysis of lawlaweconomic analysis
At-will employment remains controversial, and remains a central topic of debate in the study of law and economics, especially with regard to the macroeconomic efficiency of allowing employers to summarily and arbitrarily terminate employees.

Supreme Court of California

California Supreme CourtChief Justice of CaliforniaSupreme Court
In an October 2000 decision largely reaffirming employers' rights under the at-will doctrine, the Supreme Court of California explained:

National Labor Relations Board

NLRBChairman of the National Labor Relations BoardNational Labor Board
However, the National Labor Relations Board has opposed as unlawful the practice of including in such disclaimers language declaring that the at-will nature of the employment cannot be changed without the written consent of senior management.

William Blackstone

BlackstoneSir William BlackstoneBlackstone, Sir William
The original common law rule for dismissal of employees according to William Blackstone envisaged that, unless another practice was agreed, employees would be deemed to be hired for a fixed term of one year.